Saturday, January 16, 2016

Like a Moose in the Woods

About 10 years ago I went moose hunting in Newfoundland, where radio traffic reports warn of moose sightings near the infrequent roads on the island.  If that sounds quaint, consider from a practical standpoint what happens when a car runs into a moose . . . or should I say, when a car runs into a moose’s knees.  That’s a thousand pounds of moose through your windshield.

Yeah.  They take moose sightings very seriously up there with good reason.

What amazed me through the experience was how close you can get to one of these enormous animals without seeing them.  After trudging around in the rain with my guide for five days, one finally appeared seemingly out of nowhere, rising out of the brush as if it were riding an elevator only twenty or thirty yards away from me.

(Side note: I would never shoot an animal that wasn’t a threat to me or my property, or that I wasn’t planning to eat.  Everybody but the vegans can just settle down, because I’m no trophy hunter – bear with me, because there’s a point . . . a pencil point, that is . . . to the story.)

The reason I bring up the story is that the elusive moose in plain sight is a lot like an oversized Eversharp metal pencil, like the ones I wrote about very early on here at the blog (http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/02/eversharp-week-part-1-oversize.html):


These are Eversharp’s “Grecian Border” pattern, in gold filled and “Oxidized Grecian Border” – both of which are proper factory names, not collector’s nicknames.  Four years ago, I said of these, “to my knowledge, these are the only variations known to exist.”  That wasn’t quite true . . . I did find an example equipped for larger .075" lead soon after this article ran, but it was also in the gold filled Grecian Border pattern.

The oversized pencil in gold fill appears in the 1928 Wahl catalog; the oxidized does not.  Unfortunately, the 1926 and 1927 catalogs aren’t available, so I don’t know if others were cataloged (the 1925 catalog shows a couple other patterns next to an oversized black hard rubber pencil, but they are grouped together because they were equipped for the .075 inch lead – in fact, they are standard sized barrels, as the text accompanying the pictures makes clear).

I have to wonder how many other patterns are out there, because unless you are consciously asking yourself “isn’t that a little fat?” as you are looking at Eversharp pencils, they don’t immediately look as big as they are.  In fact, the only reason I noticed this one was because it was in a tray of sterling and silver plate Eversharps and as I was looking them over, bringing my moose analogy home, this one stood up out of the brush and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t immediately noticed it:


Note that this one is equipped for .075 inch lead, and the longer tip and ribbed clip mark it as post-1924, just like all the other oversized all-metal Eversharps I’ve seen.  This one is in plain silver plate – but a very, very clean silver plate.  It is the only example I have ever seen with a plain barrel, and the only one in silver plate.

1 comment:

Donald said...

Hi, Jon,
About that last silver-plate oversize Eversharp.

I have that pencil, but in .046 lead not .075 lead.

Regards,
Don